Europe

Abortion law: UN says Woman subjected to 'cruel and inhumane' treatment

Stethascope
Image caption The law in the Republic of Ireland meant that Ms Mellet was not able to access an abortion in the country.

The United Nations (UN) has found strict abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland's subjected a woman to discrimination and cruel and inhuman treatment.

Amanda Mellet was told her baby would die in her womb or shortly after birth.

She was 21 weeks pregnant in November 2011 when doctors gave her the news.

The law in the Republic of Ireland meant that Ms Mellet was not able to access an abortion in the country.

She travelled to the UK for an abortion, but had to return home 12 hours after the procedure as she couldn't afford to stay away from home for longer.

The UN criticised the Irish government for putting Ms Mellet through financial and emotional suffering.

Psychological treatment

In the report, it said she had to choose "between continuing her non-viable pregnancy or travelling to another country while carrying a dying foetus, at personal expense and separated from the support of her family, and to return while not fully recovered".

The UN said the Irish government should compensate Ms Mellet and ensure she gets proper psychological treatment.

It has also instructed the Irish government to ensure similar violations don't happen again.

The UN's Human Rights Committee called for the strict prohibition on abortion in Irish law to be reversed to allow women who are told their baby has a life-limiting condition to be able to terminate the pregnancy safely.